MINNEAPOLIS - The driver who led a state trooper on ahigh speed chase that ended in a fatal collisionis charged with a pair of felonies that could leave him behind bars for decades.
Hennepin County Prosecutors on Tuesday charged 34-year-old Yia Her with two counts of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle resulting in injury or death.
Prosecutors describe a harrowing ordeal that began with Her being pulled over just before 1 a.m. on September 9 for driving 70 miles-per-hour in a 55 miles-per-hour zone. When the trooper approached his vehicle on the shoulder of I-94 Her reportedly sped off and led thetrooper on a chase at high speeds right through downtown Minneapolis.
Witnesses say thesuspect drove his 1997 Nissan Maxima through several red lights and into a parking lot, driving over landscaping and then a sidewalk. He then fled the wrong way down a number of one-way streets.
The trooper tells investigators that both he and Her stopped briefly in the area of 4th Street South and 3rd Avenue South before the suspect sped off again, crossing a bridge over the Mississippi River and then into northeast Minneapolis. Her allegedly sped through two red lights before t-boning a dark sedan with two people inside.
At the wheel of the second vehicle was 20-year-old Brody Sontona from Spring Valley, Wisconsin. Sontona was dead on the scene, and his passenger,24-year-old Connor Macklin of Stillwater, was critically injured.
Sotona was a 2011 graduate of Spring Valley High School, where his principal says he was well liked. He played baseball, football and golf.
Yia Her was arrested at the scene, and tested for blood alcohol content. Tests showed his BAC at .16.
When interrogated by detectives Her allegedly admitted he fled the trooper because his license was suspended. He claimed to not remember much about the chase as he was drunk.